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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hey everyone...I am a newbie here on the forum and to slot racing (except for the Toys-R-Us tracks I had as a kid). I want to get into the hobby with my son and want to do it right.....

I am considering a 4-lane track (1/32 scale)...and am pondering the following things (leaning towards Scalextric Sport Track):

1. SHould I power each lane with a separate power supply or can I power all four lanes with one supply????

2. What power supplies are recommended for either scenario in question 1?

3. Pro's and Cons of (2) options in question 1....???

4. What is the maximum amperage I will need on each lane so that I am not limited on what cars I can run....

5. How can I tell what amp requirments cars have??? i.e. do the manufacturers tell you on the package what the amperage requirments are??

6. I saw some thing son attaching power to several locations on longer tracks....can someone explain the reason ( I assume it is because of the resistance increase in longer tracks). ALso, how can I educate myself on those requirements.

7. What is the deal with the ohm rating on the controllers?? (I know that it is resistance....but how does it effect "the race" or control of cars??)

8. Are there any good books out there that cover the technical apects of SLot Cars???

I know these are a buncj of questions, but, I can;t seem to find answers anywhere else.

Thanks in advance for you help everyone! I am really looking forward to getting started, but, I want to make sure I do my homework first.

Mike
 

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Graham Windle
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Hi Mike ,for my home track I use regulated 7 amp suppy from cpc as I only run 2 lanes this is ok for the scalex type cars For Brca type cars you need more power so if you dont want to use a car battry then 10 amps per lane would be a minimum but for scalex type 3 amps is more than adequate . At slot tech we have a 30 amp variable psu wich powers 6 lanes this is ok for scalextype but not for 16ds or higher
At pendle we have a truck battery and a constant charger enough amps to weld with .
For home use I would sugest you get the best psu you can afford cpc have some good deals ,sean at pendle also stocks some good ones .aim for a minimum of 3amps per lane and you wont have problems with sclex /slotit etc dont share a return /negative lead between lanes to save time you will get surge (when a car comes off some one else gets a bit more power)
check my site for car set up and controler info .
Im sure some of the other guys will also give you some good tips
Welcome to the board oh and where are you located
 

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Lots of good questions.

1. Should I power each lane with a separate power supply or can I power all four lanes with one supply????
I think you should use one 12 volt (or adjustable is even better but much more expensive) with at least 4 amps (1 amp per car). Many people like more voltage because it makes the cars a bit faster but I think it makes most current cars too jumpy and harder to control for beginners.
Note: on Sport track you may need to wire directly to the track to by-pass the terminal track because of how it is wired.

2. What power supplies are recommended for either scenario in question 1?
There are a lot that are available. I like to have an adjustable one becasue I can turn the power down for novices (it helps a lot) but this is rather expensive.

3. Pro's and Cons of (2) options in question 1....???
Did I answer this? The problem is all sets have power supplies that are barely adequate with voltage that is too high and amperage that is too low.

4. What is the maximum amperage I will need on each lane so that I am not limited on what cars I can run....
I think that 1 amp per car is adequate, but if you add a lot of strong traction magents you may need a lot more... a lot more.

5. How can I tell what amp requirments cars have??? i.e. do the manufacturers tell you on the package what the amperage requirments are??
Good question. I have measured the draw of some cars. The highest draw is at the start and afterward it is much less.
I have not seen anyone publish their amp requirements.

6. I saw some thing son attaching power to several locations on longer tracks....can someone explain the reason ( I assume it is because of the resistance increase in longer tracks). Also, how can I educate myself on those requirements.
You are correct on the reason, but I don't have any genral guidelines.

7. What is the deal with the ohm rating on the controllers?? (I know that it is resistance....but how does it effect "the race" or control of cars??)
The lower resistance gives a snappier or quicker response. Most of todays car operate good at 25 to 45 ohms.

8. Are there any good books out there that cover the technical apects of Slot Cars???
There are some books but they don't answer your question in a ver y straight froward manner.
 

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scalex sport powerbase is designed for A/C input, and the components inside are not rated for high amps. If you use the bases, its a good idea to stick with scalextric transformers. 1 per track gives you about 1amp per car, which is how my home track is run at the moment.

I run RTR cars from Fly, Scalextric, Ninco, Carrera and Revell, with magnets, sometimes with considerable more than box standard magnets (oh and a couple of RAID cars without magnets).

1 transformer/track means that you never get a surge on one lane because another car crashes, possibly one of the most annoying things about having insufficient current. The setup I have may mean that the cars cannot reach their maximum acceleration, but it does not show up as a problem and all the cars run apparently very well.

My preference running cars like this is 40 ohm, though some cars prefer 25 and some prefer 45. I presume that if you end up running different voltages, you may find different resistances more suitable.
 

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Hi MGO,

Here are two articles that I hope will help you in learning about power supplies and controllers. The first article is on using a variable power supply with two scalextric powerbases on a 2 lane layout so that you can change your race direction without having to build a custom driver's station. The article is here: http://www.citizensoldier.org/dualrace.html.

For a four lane layout I would definitely recommend discarding the Scaley powerbases and building a simple driver's station for each lane. Fergy has posted a schematic for a simple driver's station that allows you to change race direction and turn brakes on and off. Fergy's station can be built in an afternoon. The schematic is here: http://members.rogers.com/bfergy/ho_atw_1_2004a.jpg.

You could still use a single power supply for your four lane layout. A 0-20 volt, 10 amp supply would be more than sufficient for a four lane layout. The Trackmate power supply in the article was the best value I found - there's a link in the article to the Trackmate website.

The second article deals with how dynamic brakes work and how to wire your track. You will need to understand track wiring if you are going to discard the Scaley powerbases and build your own driver's stations. The second article is here: http://www.citizensoldier.org/howbrakeswork.html.

I hope these are helpful to get you started. Part of the fun of slot cars is even though they are simple, there always seems to be more to learn!

Have fun,
Paul
Circuit TrustChrist
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Thanks everyone......outstanding tips and direction on where to look for additional info.

I will keep you all updated on my progress into this cool hobby.
 
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